Get Up and Give Back (AKA Chris has revelations while lifting stuff)

“I do not think there is any danger of a crack up, and the reason is that he is a thoroughly well-organized individual with no energy leaks in his make-up.  He operates a well-regulated machine. He handles things with easy power and carries burdens without strain.  He never wastes an ounce of energy, but every effort is applied with maximum force.”                                                                                 Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking.   

I practice hardstyle kettlebell techniques near daily, and have increased the depth,load and volume over the past two months in preparation for my November StrongFirst certification. The other day I had a particularly demanding practice involving 100 Single Handed Swings followed by 10 Turkish Get Up using a 24kg (53lb) Kettlebell for timed practice.  It was the first time I have attempted this  and figured I would set a baseline as the time standards are not easy.  The 100 swings must be completed in 5 minutes or less, you are given a 1 minute break and then need to perform 10 perfect Turkish Get Ups in under 10 minutes.

I smashed both requirements on my first attempt.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Turkish Get Up holds a special place for me as it was the first kettlebell technique that I taught myself to a fair degree of competency, and I feel it is the technique that sings to me the most. This is not say my Get Up is perfect, far from it actually. Recently two small corrections were given to me by a StrongFirst Level 2 Coach in the Philippines that instantly improved things.

When I receive tips,corrections and suggestions they are immediately copied down and applied in the next practice session including the name of the issuing coach. I treat my training logs more as journals as I ask questions, draw pictures or jot down drills, questions and ideas that come up. This level of detail takes time, but I feel it is an investment both in myself as a coach and a valued part of my practice.

TGU Blog Pic

My practice journals are pretty detailed and chock full of questions,insights and corrections,drills and advice from coaches around the world.

I am currently training the single hand swings  and Turkish Get Up with a 28kg kettlebell. While two hand swinging the 28kg are not hard for me, the single hand swing is an entirely different animal. Since today’s practice was short I trained a version of the swing which requires re-setting the kettlebell between each swing, thereby requiring maximum power generation on each swing. This becomes quite taxing on the body and requiresfocus on each repetition since momentum has been taken out of the technique. It was not that long ago in the Turkish Get Up that I had problems stabilizing the weight overhead and making the transitions from point to point. Today I worked the first half the movement sequence and by the time I had completed my 10th repetition felt confident enough to perform the movements at a much slower pace. Moving slowly is challenging, but allows you to explore the technique and locate any leaks.

The process of perfection is arduous and never ending, and I am far from where I can ascend.  My journey is one that I hope to share with others.


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